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Filmmaking Schools in Montana

Looking for classes in a specific city? Check out our lists of Filmmaking Schools in Billings and Missoula

Best Filmmaking Schools in Montana

Ever wondered where to start your filmmaking journey in Montana?

Discover the best filmmaking schools in Montana that offer top-notch programs and state-of-the-art facilities to nurture your passion and talent.

Montana State University – School of Film & Photography

The Montana State University School of Film & Photography (SFP) is a standout choice for aspiring filmmakers seeking a hands-on learning environment. Located in Bozeman, Montana, this school transforms students into proficient visual storytellers.

Degree Programs and Facilities

Students can choose between undergraduate degrees in Film and Photography, as well as a BFA in Integrated Lens-Based Media. The curriculum includes various opportunities for students to showcase their work, such as student films and senior projects.

Key Features:

  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities: Students benefit from advanced equipment and technology.
  • Equipment checkout services: Enables students to use top-notch tools for their projects.
  • Resource-rich environment: Scholarships, program assessments, and advising services support student success.

Real-World Experience

What sets the MSU School of Film & Photography apart is its strong emphasis on real-world experiences. Students collaborate closely with faculty and secure internships with prominent film companies, offering practical industry exposure.

Key Affiliations:

  • LucasFilm
  • National Geographic
  • Paramount Pictures

These partnerships allow students to gain valuable industry insights and networking opportunities.

Montana State University – MFA Program in Science and Natural History Filmmaking

The MFA Program in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University is tailored for students from science, engineering, or technology backgrounds. This program equips them to become professional filmmakers who create accurate and impactful scientific media.

Curriculum and Experience

The curriculum includes rigorous training in film production, taught by experienced faculty. Students gain hands-on experience through collaborative projects and internships.


  • Specialized internships and hands-on projects: Gain practical experience directly related to science and natural history filmmaking.
  • Access to advanced equipment: Facilitates high-quality project work.
  • Support resources: Thesis film databases and equipment checkout services are available to students.

Achievements and Community

Students and alumni of this program have seen their work featured on major media platforms, receiving numerous awards for their contributions to science and natural history.

Community and Networking:

  • Collaborate with the Bozeman wildlife filmmaking community.
  • Connect with alumni and industry professionals to build a robust professional network.

University of Montana – Digital Filmmaking Program

The University of Montana Digital Filmmaking Program offers an in-depth curriculum focusing on digital video technology, screenwriting, animation, directing, sound for film, and producing. This program is designed for those interested in both commercial and experimental filmmaking.

Facilities and Faculty

The program boasts state-of-the-art facilities such as film production studios, multimedia studios, and a soundstage. These resources provide an excellent environment for creative experimentation and production.

Key Features:

  • Top-level facilities: Including a soundstage and film production studios.
  • Collaboration and industry exposure: Opportunities to work with the Montana Museum of Art and Culture.

Real-World Applications

The faculty, such as Michael R. Murphy and Mark Shogren, bring a wealth of industry experience, guiding students through comprehensive coursework. Graduates earn a B.F.A in Media Arts (Filmmaking Track), equipping them with the knowledge and skills for a successful career in digital filmmaking.

Career Preparation:

  • Hands-on, project-based learning: Prepares students for various filmmaking careers.
  • Industry connections: Help students secure jobs and projects post-graduation.

Montana State University – Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program

The largest of its kind, the Montana State University Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program focuses on integrating scientific education with professional filmmaking skills. This unique curriculum prepares students to produce content that enhances public understanding of science and natural history.

Program Highlights

Innovative Curriculum:

  • Courses cover film production, sound, cinematography, and writing.
  • Internships are required, providing real-world experience.

Recognitions and Collaborations:

  • Work featured on major channels like National Geographic and Netflix.
  • Awards include Emmys and Fulbright Scholarships.

Additional Benefits

The program supports students with funding opportunities through fellowships and assistantships. As part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) partnership, it offers opportunities to students from 15 western states.

Community and Networking:

  • Partnerships with organizations like NASA.
  • Renowned faculty and successful alumni provide significant networking opportunities.

These Montana filmmaking schools offer a range of comprehensive programs designed to equip students with the skills and experiences needed to excel in the industry. By choosing one of these programs, you’ll set a solid foundation for a successful career in filmmaking.

University of Montana – Media Arts Program

The University of Montana’s Media Arts Program provides a diverse and comprehensive education ideal for those interested in multiple media disciplines. The program spans across gaming, internet technology, graphic arts, sound design, and digital filmmaking, making it an excellent choice for students looking to gain a holistic understanding of media arts.

Curriculum and Degree Options

The curriculum is designed to be versatile, equipping students with a solid foundation in various media disciplines.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Media Arts: This degree emphasizes both practical and creative skills, preparing students for careers in film production, editing, animation, and more.
  • Sound Design and Game Design: These specialized tracks allow students to focus on specific interests within the media arts field.
  • Certificate Courses: Various certificate courses are also available, providing additional skills and expertise.

Facilities and Faculty

The University of Montana is well-equipped to support the educational needs of its media arts students.

  • Top-tier facilities: Access to advanced multimedia studios, editing suites, and sound stages ensures students can produce high-quality work.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration: The program promotes interactions with other departments like journalism and music, fostering a rich, interdisciplinary learning environment.
  • Experienced faculty: Faculty members are not only accessible but often work on significant industry projects, providing students with real-world insights and mentorship.

Graduates from the Media Arts Program are well-prepared for diverse career paths and benefit from a national average salary of $75,270 for special effects artists and animators.

What to Look For in a Filmmaking School in Montana

Choosing the right filmmaking school can be crucial for your career. Here are key factors to consider:

  1. Strong Curriculum: Ensure that the school offers a robust range of courses covering both foundational techniques and advanced practices in filmmaking.
  2. Faculty Expertise: Look for faculty members with significant industry experience and connections. This can provide invaluable mentorship and networking opportunities.
  3. Industry Connections: Schools that have strong relationships with film companies and offer internships can give you real-world experience and job placement advantages.
  4. State-of-the-Art Facilities: Availability of high-quality equipment, studios, and editing labs is essential for hands-on learning and project work.
  5. Financial Aid and Scholarships: Evaluate the program cost and look for available financial aid options, scholarships, and assistantships to help manage expenses effectively.

Remember: These factors can help you identify a filmmaking school that aligns with your career goals and provides the resources needed for success.

Filmmaking Schools By State

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming


Selecting the best filmmaking school in Montana is a vital step toward achieving your aspirations in the film industry. Each of these schools provides excellent programs, experienced faculty, and valuable industry connections to help you succeed. Take the time to visit their websites, explore their offerings, and make an informed choice that aligns with your career objectives.

Your journey in filmmaking starts with choosing the right educational path. Visit the school websites to learn more and take the first step toward a successful career in filmmaking.

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